Actions over words in coaching
As a Jiu Jitsu coach or any other for that matter, it’s fairly obvious that your role is to develop those you teach to be well trained practitioners. However, there is a line between relaying technical knowledge and communicating effectively. Oftentimes, a young teacher like myself can be blind to this notion. What this can lead to is a very boastful and exaggerative way of exhibiting very technical ideas which can detract from what you intend to communicate (especially true when teaching beginners). My first awareness of this was when I was a young strength coach (more accurately enthusiast tasked with training others) and noticed those in the industry who used “layman’s speak” to ensure the trainee understood (example: “position your hands like you are riding a bicycle”versus “you are going to use a pronated grip rather than supinated). Since I’m currently making an effort to avoid this pitfall I thought to share these three reminders with you.
1. Remember who you are talking to, how will your words help them? Martial Artists can fall in love with the sound of their voice and how much sense they make… To themselves. Don’t let your ego overpower what you want them to learn.
2. Avoid inside terms without definition, example: using the words “We’re going to work on a sweep from Spider-De La Riva guard” compared to “We’re going to work on getting on top of our opponent by controlling his arm with one of our legs and using the other leg to control his leg. Some call this position Spider-De La Riva.”
3. Take note of how successful your students are applying what you taught. If %80 of the class experiences success applying your technique that’s a smash hit, if less than %50 did you confused them.